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Hidden In Plain Sight, Part One
#1
[Image: IMG_0369_zps99948b39.jpg]



[size="5"]Hidden In Plain Sight, Part 1[/size]



[size="5"]W[/size]hen you’re livin’ life like the Nine-Fingered Rat Bastard, you can never tell when you might have to high-tail it out of wherever you slept last night with a pissed-off woman/landlord/employer/husband/debt collector on your tail. Therefore it just plain makes sense to have some crap stashed to make the next night a little easier, wherever that may be. (Dog barking for no reason tonight? Looked outside in your garage or under your porch lately? Notice a sulfurous stench? Might be me sleeping in your car!)



Here’s the story: While you were living it up last year, The Rat Bastard was living like a roach, remodeling the Spider Hole. That included ripping up all the landscape and putting in a new sprinkler and sewage system. Naturally, given my fugitive inclinations, this struck me as a grand opportunity.



The New-And-Improved Spider Hole has a bunch of valve boxes set along one edge of the property. These control irrigation, sprinklers, sewage pumps, and the like. Nothing special here. Or is there?



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Well, one of these is a little unusual—there’s no valve inside, just a waterproof plastic liner:



Open it up, and what might we find?



[Image: IMG_0370_zps6e233435.jpg]



Holy Shit! A short dog of cactus brandy, a box of condoms, some sort of concealable shooting instrument, a big-ass folding knife, foreign and domestic passports, paper money—Jeezus H. Tapdancing Christ, this is a wino’s jackpot!



[Image: IMG_0371_zps5af2ffd0.jpg]



[size="5"]I[/size]t’s obvious what’s going on here: A remote receptacle like this, outside of your home or office, lets you stash objects discreetly that you or someone else can retrieve. At the Spider Hole it gives me a place to leave cash, checks or objects that someone can pick up, without just “hiding” it under the doormat. How might you employ something like of this kind?



I assembled this by using a valve-housing body and a 2.5-quart plastic container from Home Despot. Just shoved the bucket into the valve-housing body and secured it with a big bead of silicon seal inside and out, dug a hole, and buried the whole shebang. I made sure this one was in front of a gate where it's accessable, but discreetly located on the side of the slave shack where whoever's retrieving what I’ve stashed won't attract attention. What you load it up with is up to you. Maybe you want to put your objects in a Ziplok freezer bag and throw a couple of handfuls of gravel on top, depending on your level of paranoia. You’re smart enough to figure that out.



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It's easy to direct someone else to this location--maybe even send them a cell-phone picture. I feel a lot better about leaving something there than under the mat--especially if it's not an envelope. Got something really big to ditch? Use a bigger valve-body box.



And don't mind that noise by your trash cans tonight. It's just probably just some broken-down old mountain climber looking for leftover pizza crusts or some coffee grounds I can reuse.



Cheers!



--ML



[size="1"]Grand Master King Dickhead Maximum Rat Bastard Slack-Jawed Leftist

White-Collar Godless Liberal California Sheeple Lumpenproletariat Jesuit Illuminati

Samizdat Intelligentsia Cultural Elite Long-Haired Gun-Hippie Desert Roach

Nine-Fingered Mouth-Breathing Mud-Running Motorcycle-Riding Alpha Über Geek

Yuppie Asshole Lazzaroni Neandertal Ragpicking Spaβbremse and Cross-Country Ski Jerk©®™[/size]
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#2
I was wondering what you would suggest for us folks who live in icy, snowy regions? Besides sprinkler heads are not common everywhere.
Remember, Noah was the ORIGINAL prepper.



Paranoids are just people that know all the facts - Warren Ellis
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#3
Great ideas ML.



Here's a cache maker's wet dream:



[url="http://www.usplastic.com/search/?q=valve+box&view=g"]US Plastic[/url]



Eric
woodsdrummer.com



"In the school of the woods there is no graduation day" Horace Kephart
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#4
[quote name='doctari' timestamp='1415162726' post='595941']

I was wondering what you would suggest for us folks who live in icy, snowy regions? Besides sprinkler heads are not common everywhere.

[/quote]



A friend of mine taught me this one



Find a dead tree with rough bark on it. Something gnarly that will go unnoticed in a deep dark woods.



Go up about 5 feet or so and cut it vertically so you can remove a chunk of it.



Hollow out both halves, fill with gear and then use deck screws to put the two halves back together.



Maybe place some moss around the areas to camo it.



Kid
Live with honor, ride with truth.  Be friendly to others.  But always carry a gun on your side and a knife in your boot because there are those that do not feel the same as this.


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#5
That's cool, ML. I don't even have a sprinkler system in my yard, but I bet if I put in your stash design no one would pay any attention to it. This leads me to the idea that a fake sewer clean out pipe would be unattractive to everyone and a good stash place.



--George
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#6
Slick! <img src='http://hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsup.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':thumbsup:' />
Addictive knife buying isn't guided by logic.

Its probably my age that makes people think I am an adult.

Tolerance is within a standard.

"Food is power. We use it to change behavior. Some
may call that bribery. We do not apologize."
 -Catherine Bertini, UN World Food Ex. Director, 1997

Proverbs 27:17
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#7
I like that <img src='http://hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsup.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':thumbsup:' />



It also eludes metal detectors because one expects it to ring there anyway...
{  "Trust in Jesus but carry a sixgun in the bathroom."€  Phantom  }
Reply
#8
--ML,

Thanks for this article and how it demonstrates the spirit of the forum that Ron and crew started many moons ago.

From one pizza crust eater to another.

KS
"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." John Wayne



"I'd rather have 10 seconds in the saddle than a lifetime of watching from the stands." Chris LeDoux
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#9
Great Idea --ML

I have an AlMar knife like that and it is a perfect choice for that application.



Griz



PS: ML and KS you guys save me a piece of pizza with mushrooms and bacon if you find one....my favorite <img src='http://hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/yes.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':yes:' />
Hopefully the S won't HTF and I pray every day that it won't. It would not be fun.



I have a high art..I wound with cruelty, all who wound me...Archillocus; 650 B.C.
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#10
Thanks for the kind comments, especially from Kodiaksurvival and [b]Grizzly Dave[/b]. KS, your comments mean more than you’ll know, since I hold your opinion in such high regard. Good to see you here.



I’m not particularly into the fantasy aspects of survival. I just think that it’s useful to have a semi-secure place at your home to leave something outside, that someone else can pick up when you’re not home or after you’re asleep. For me, it’s just a standard home accessory, like having a mailbox or a doorbell. Under the doormat just doesn’t cut it, and we all know that the further away from the front door it is, the less likely some unauthorized person will discover it.



The other day I had to leave an entire motorcycle out for someone to pick up. How do you stash that? The answer, of course, is that you don’t. You lock the bike in the back yard, then put the keys to the gate, the lock, and the ignition in your dropoff point.



Another story: Several years ago, I was on the East Coast of the US with a day to kill, and thought I’d go check out the USS Constitution, aka Old Ironsides, an important piece of American history anchored at the Boston Naval Shipyard. I was stopped at a security check before going aboard—my Leatherman tool and folding knife were in violation. What to do about this? I’d taken public transportation out there, so I had no car trunk where I could lock the items up. I could stand there and squeal about this being a police state, or the irony of not being able to carry something like a Leatherman on a US ship of war like some self-righteous internet commando. Or I could take another course of action: walk three or four minutes away, buy a cup of coffee, find a place to stash these small items, and then come back and enjoy the ship. Done.



Grizzly Dave: You, sir, have further reinforced your position of a man of distinction, a scholar and a gentleman. And, I might add, a knife aficionado from the old school. Not too many folks even know what an original 3000-series Al Mar SERE knife is, much less own one.



[Image: IMG_0391_zps0c8133b9.jpg]



(From top to bottom: A Mora fixed-blade, a vintage Al Mar SERE Attack III 3003A, a contemporary Al Mar SERE 2000, and an old Buck 110 Folding Hunter)



[size="5"]F[/size]OR THE YOUNGSTERS OUT THERE: Al Mar was a former US Army Special Forces member who went on to start a knife company in 1979. Understand that at this time there were virtually no “tactical” folding knives on the market; we all carried a Buck 110 Folding Hunter or a clone. Al Mar’s 3000-series folders rocked our worlds. It sold for a hundred bucks when a 110 probably cost twenty. It was available in several models: The SERE Attack I (3-inch blade, model number 3001), the SERE Attack II (3 ½-inch blade, model number 3002), and the SERE Attack III (4 ¼-inch blade, model number 3003). The “A” models came with camo green Micarta scales; the “B” models with black neoprene scales. The 3003 models came with a leather sheath, either black or woodland camo, with a sharpening stone stored inside; the other knives used Cordura nylon sheaths. The knife shown here is a SERE Attack III 3003A, the biggest and baddest of the bunch, and a real handful by anyone's judgement.



SERE stands for [size="4"]S[/size]urvival, [size="4"]E[/size]vasion, [size="4"]R[/size]esistance and [size="4"]E[/size]scape, a formal training program in the US military. Typically personnel with a high risk of capture (Special Forces, pilots and aircrew) get this training. Al Mar worked Col. James “Nick” Rowe to design the original 3000-series knives. Rowe was a young lieutenant when he was captured in Vietnam, and spent over five years in captivity before he escaped—one of only 34 American POWs to escape during the war. Afterwards, he helped create the modern SERE course used by the US military.



Al Mar knives currently offers another and much more common knife now, the SERE 2000, shown in the above photo directly below the original SERE 3003A. It’s a lot easier to carry, and incorporates a thumb stud for opening and a pocket clip for easy carry. But there’s nothing like the heft, character and class of that old SERE Attack III.



Perhaps even more rare, I have a belt sheath for it made by the late Bruce Nelson (Bill Hay might remember Bruce Nelson Combat Leather, truly the right stuff back in the day. I used to carry this on my belt when I was in grad school—if I showed up on campus today rocking a big folder like this they’d have the SWAT squad lighting me up with their lasers within a couple of minutes.)



Times change. The original SERE is an awesome knife, but now we're lucky enough to have many more choices, some of them better than this old sticker. But few command the respect the old SERE Attack III does; it's a real badge of authority. And Grizzly Dave--you do know that you have to give me first shot at yours if you ever decide to divest of it. I’ll even give you an entire mushroom-and-bacon pizza for it. And maybe even a fifth of something smooth to wash it down.



Cheers,



--ML



[size="1"]Grand Master King Dickhead Maximum Rat Bastard Slack-Jawed Leftist

White-Collar Godless Liberal California Sheeple Lumpenproletariat Jesuit Illuminati

Samizdat Intelligentsia Cultural Elite Long-Haired Gun-Hippie Desert Roach

Nine-Fingered Mouth-Breathing Mud-Running Motorcycle-Riding Alpha Über Geek

Yuppie Asshole Lazzaroni Neandertal Ragpicking Spaβbremse and Cross-Country Ski Jerk©®™ [/size]



[Image: IMG_0392_zpsff4a92a4.jpg]
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#11
Seems a shame Bianchi/Pachmayr didn't keep up with the Lightning grips or maybe update them with new materials to make the shroud a bit thinner - seems like it might interfere with the cylinder latch. Had to do a search to find out what they were - if you've kept them installed, says loads about the design/concept.
Steve
  • Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but it can get there real fast.
  • Losing an illusion makes you smarter than finding a truth - Ludwig Borne
  • Always remember the Golden Rule: He who has the gold, makes the rules.
  • This is more fun than beating a tree hugger with a dead baby seal.
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#12
ML what other Al mar knives do you own if I may ask? is the 3000 series your favorite?
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#13
[Image: IMG_0404_zps68faaacc.jpg]



(Above: The Nine-Fingered Rat Bastard’s current Al Mar knives. From the top:

Model 3005.6/ SERE VII

Model 3003-A SERE Atttack III

Eagle Ultralight

Eagle with Jigged Bone scales

Vintage Eagle with Ivory Micarta scales

SERE 2000

Model 3003-C Passport

Falcon with Cocobolo scales

Falcon Ultralight

Hawk Ultralight

For Scale: An old Oberndorf Mauser C96--it is the anniversary of WWI, after all.)






[quote name='Scottman' timestamp='1415405879' post='596017']

ML what other Al mar knives do you own if I may ask? is the 3000 series your favorite?

[/quote]



[size="5"]A[/size] FAIR QUESTION. I’m lucky enough to own a few. And not to be a smartass, but I don’t know if your definition of “favorite” is the same as mine, or anyone else’s. But here are some observations which might be helpful.



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(Above: European Survival Kit: My old, super-vintage Al Mar Eagle with Ivory Micarta scales, a Walther PPK, a couple of passports and enough folding money to grease a few palms an unlock just about any door. The knife and pistol are timeless, and work today as well as they did decades ago.)



[size="5"]I[/size]F YOU'RE ASKING which Al Mar blade I’ve used the most, that’s easy. I have an old Eagle folder with ivory Micarta scales (shown above). I carried that knife for more than a decade when I spent a lot of time travelling in Europe. A Buck 110 on your belt was WAY out of place there, even in the 1970s and 1980s. That Eagle was a great comfort when wandering unfamiliar cobblestone streets at night, in places where my command of the language was much less than fluent. I put it into the same pocket as my passport before I boarded my Pan Am flight (back in the days when you could fly with a knife like that, and get lung cancer from all the cigarette smoke in the cabin), and it never left for weeks or months at a time. Professionals used to call the Al Mar Eagle “The Green Cover Special” (back when US passports had green covers). Mostly I carried it as a security blanket, but it’s a classy slicer for food prep if you buy a hunk of salami, some cheese, and a loaf of the local bread. Today you can still get an Eagle, but with different scales.



The Al Mar I carry most now is probably a SERE 2000 (when I’m wearing Levis), but there are dozens of good choices in this category from other makers too, (Spyderco, Benchmade, Ontario, etc.), and often I’ll choose something else. Just about everyone offers some good steel in a 3 ½-to-4-inch blade range with synthetic handles, a locking mechanism, some form of one-handed opening and a pocket clip. We're damned lucky in that regard: just choose a sensible blade profile, don't over-think the steel type or locking mechanism, pay your money and take your pick. Usta be you had your choice of a Buck 110 Folding Hunter, and, uhhhhh, well that was about it. Life's good.



[Image: IMG_0405_zps2f9f1080.jpg]



(Above: Al Mar Hawk Ultralite with Walther TPH pocket pistol. The TPH is tiny, and the knife even smaller. The blade drops into your Tux’s pocket, and the TPH tucks into the cummerbund. You’re dressed for success!)



[size="5"]I[/size]F I'M WEARING a suit or a tuxedo, I ALWAYS choose a Falcon or Hawk Ultralight with the pocket clip removed. I have an Eagle Ultralight too (usually carry that with the pocket clip attached), but the Hawk with its 2.75-inch blade or Falcon with a 3.15-inch blade just hits that sweet spot. It can ride in a suit jacket or in light dress slacks and go unnoticed. Nicely done. I’ve probably given away a dozen Eagle and Hawk Ultralights in my travels—they’re always appreciated.



I think I only have one fixed-blade Al Mar left, a model 3005.6/ SERE VII. This was given to me back around 1982 for some work I did. It’s a truly beautiful knife, but I never use it. The world isn’t all about function, and there’s something to be said for beauty alone. I have plenty of sculpture and framed art in my home—the SERE VII brings me as much pleasure. A woman’s breast serves no function unless she’s nursing a child, but that doesn’t mean I don’t find them objects of beauty in themselves. I have plenty of functional fixed-blade knives in this length. But were one inclined to wield this big old blade as an offensive/defensive knife, it would command my full attention.



That SERE III 3003-A folder that started this thread drift is another beautifully made knife, but it’s really a bit much for pocket carry. On web gear or a wide gunbelt it was right at home, but I don’t find myself wearing either so much now. I’ll take it out and use it occasionally, and it always draws a fair deal of attention if that’s what you’re after: “winning the dick-waving contest” as one friend likes to put it. In Texas they talk about BBQ guns, fancy pistols and rigs you wear out for social events. The SERE III has a high BBQ factor in 2014, although it's still a big, solid knife, and not just a showboat.



You didn’t ask, but the Al Mar (that I own) and which I like the least is, hands down, the SERE Passport (Model 3003-C). Man, I NEVER use that knife. (It’s the fourth from the bottom in the photo at the head of this post, the one with the old Mauser pistol.) Aluminum handles. VERY slim, and pretty light. But I think the current SERE 2000 is just better on every level. The old SERE Passport is Seki-marked on the blade, so some collector would probably pay me plenty for it. I’d be happy to let it go and turn that cash into something useful.



Al Mar knives tend to be expensive, and they tend to be beautifully finished and nicely balanced. They’re definitely skewed towards the personal defense side of the scale rather than the bushcraft direction. If you can afford one and the design meets your needs, they've never let me down.



Hope that helps,



--ML



[size="1"]Grand Master King Dickhead Maximum Rat Bastard Slack-Jawed Leftist

White-Collar Godless Liberal California Sheeple Lumpenproletariat Jesuit Illuminati

Samizdat Intelligentsia Cultural Elite Long-Haired Gun-Hippie Desert Roach

Nine-Fingered Mouth-Breathing Mud-Running Motorcycle-Riding Alpha Über Geek

Yuppie Asshole Lazzaroni Neandertal Ragpicking Spaβbremse and Cross-Country Ski Jerk©®™



[/size][Image: IMG_0407_zps2e19627f.jpg]



(Above: I guess you could say these are my favorite Al Mar blades. An Eagle with bone scales, an Eagle Ultralight, a SERE 2000, a Falcon with Cocobolo scales, and a Falcon Ultralight. Shown with the old Star PD I carried on Ron’s survival trips so many years ago. That gun spent a lot of time in the field--note how the anodized aluminum frame, which used to be jet black--is changing color.)

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#14
--ML,

Thank you for the kind words.

I am sorry to tell you all of my Al Mar knives have been claimed by my kids...apparently they did listen when I was talking. <img src='http://hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/rolleyes.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Rolleyes' />

I mainly use the SERE2000 now.



Griz
Hopefully the S won't HTF and I pray every day that it won't. It would not be fun.



I have a high art..I wound with cruelty, all who wound me...Archillocus; 650 B.C.
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#15
Thank you
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